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Bookshelf
Photo by Tim Hout.

Bookshelf

What to read this fall.

Things are not what they seem in four genre-bending novels out this autumn. David Mitchell returns with Slade House (Random House), a tour de force thriller about soul-stealing twins, which he began writing on Twitter. Rick Moody finds inspiration in social media, too: In Hotels of North America (Little, Brown), his oversharing protagonist offers a morosely hilarious diatribe on pillow mints, lobby music, and, ultimately, loneliness through the online reviews he writes. Meanwhile, in The Mare (Pantheon), Mary Gaitskill updates the girl-and-her-horse story with two vividly realized heroines—a discontented upstate New York artist and a gifted Brooklyn kid, who meet through the Fresh Air Fund. And Hannah Rothschild whets our appetite for art world intrigue with her debut novel, The Improbability of Love (Knopf), about an ordinary woman who unwittingly takes home an Antoine Watteau masterpiece from a thrift shop. The twist? It talks to her. Having been indignantly toted to the farmers’ market, the painting archly complains to the reader, “She spent more time choosing a potato than she had moi.’ ”

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